PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla.—
Martin Health System, Stuart, Fla., has finally kicked off construction of Tradition Medical Center, its new hospital in west Port St. Lucie, after a contentious 14-year approval process and legal struggle. The $110 million, 201,184square-foot hospital is expected to open with 90 beds in 2014. It will have the potential to expand to 300 beds, according to a news release. Martin Health had been locked in a legal battle with HCA, which owns the nearby 194-bed St. Lucie Medical Center and 331-bed Lawnwood Regional Medical Center and had sought to block the facility from being granted a certificate of need. But an appeals court finally ruled in 316-bed Martin Health’s favor in October 2010, paving the way for construction. The medical center will be located on the campus of Tradition Center for Innovation, a research park, which will allow Martin Health to build partnerships with the organizations there, according to the news release. “This is a moment that has been a long time in coming, but we recognized that having a hospital in west Port St. Lucie was critical to residents here,” Mark Robitaille, president and CEO of Martin Health System, said in a statement. Martin Health first applied for approval to build the medical center in 1998, filing several applications before winning preliminary approval for the project in 2007. Ginger King, a spokeswoman for St. Lucie Medical Center, noted that the group’s stance on the new facility has not changed. “As we have said, we disagree with the assessment of need and we do not think a new hospital is in the best interest of the community.” SARASOTA, Fla.—
Sarasota Memorial Health Care System has partnered with Columbia University Medical Center in New York to expand its cardiac-care services. The affiliation will give 628-bed Sarasota Memorial 24/7 access to Columbia’s cardiac surgery team to consult on cases—as well as the chance to work with the latest cardiac devices and therapies. Sarasota Memorial’s physicians also will have the opportunity to work on research projects and clinical trials alongside Columbia faculty and receive Columbia faculty appointments themselves. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. “This collaboration brings together the best of both worlds— one of the nation’s top academic medical centers and one of the nation’s best community hospitals,” Dr. Ricardo Yaryura, medical director of Sarasota Memorial’s cardiology services, said in a news release. The partnership comes as Sarasota Memorial has been trying to build its own cardiology offerings. The hospital system later this year plans to open a hybrid operating room-cardiac catheterization lab that will allow surgeons to perform multiple cardiology procedures simultaneously. It also plans to open a Valve Center this year for patients with severe aortic stenosis, or valve-narrowing. Both projects will allow Sarasota Memorial to tap into the expertise available at Columbia in those fields. “The collaboration will combine the strengths of both programs to ensure patients have access to state-of-the-art technology and research and receive outstanding cardiac care,” Dr. Craig Smith, chairman of Columbia’s Department of Surgery, said in a statement. TOWSON, Md.—
Catholic Health Initiatives agreed to enter exclusive negotiations to divest St. Joseph Medical Center to the University of Maryland Medical System. The agreement follows months of talks with suitors for St. Joseph, a 305-bed hospital in Towson, after which the University of Maryland, Baltimore, won endorsement from the St. Joseph board of directors, according to a news release. Englewood, Colo.-based Catholic Health Initiatives, which includes 55 hospitals in 16 states, and the Catholic Church must approve the deal and the university system agreed to “to honor SJMC’S Catholic identity and its religious heritage,” according to the release. Talks are expected to produce a definitive agreement. WINCHESTER, Ky.—
Clark Regional Medical Center opened the doors to its new $60 million hospital, which replaces an older facility. The 79-bed facility is the first newly constructed community hospital in Kentucky this year, according to a news release. It will be fully operational, with all patients transferred, as of March 31. Clark Regional also plans to open a $10 million office building on the same site in August. That space will house its women’s health and rehab/physical therapy centers as well as offices for the Clark Clinic—a primary-care practice—and other providers. Clark Regional, which has 100 beds and owned since May 2010 by Lifepoint Hospitals, Brentwood, Tenn., celebrated the grand opening of the hospital on its 95th anniversary. “Opening a brand-new facility as we celebrate 95 years of serving Winchester and the surrounding areas is quite profound,” Kathy Love, CEO of Clark Regional Medical Center, said in a statement. The hospital was designed to incorporate high-tech features including a fully geothermal heating and cooling system, electronic health records with bedside computer charting and state-ofthe-art diagnostic and surgical equipment, according to the news release. “The new Clark Regional Medical Center is cutting edge and shines a bright light on this community’s commitment to its people for nearly a century,” said Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear in a statement.
Officials broke ground for Tradition Medical Center recently after a lengthy legal struggle.